When I was invited to stay at the Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto in Danzante Bay just south of Loreto for nearly a week with a team of writers, you can imagine — I JUMPED at the chance! I can’t wait to share the summary of this amazing experience and what it could mean for you in the future!
Where is Loreto?
Loretto is a teeny-tiny, just almost magical little town in Mexico about 750 miles south of San Diego on the gulf side of the coast. Founded in 1679, it is considered to be the first settlement in Baja. The Mission, which was completed well over 300 years ago, still stands immaculately in the village, filling the local streets with both rich history and quaint beauty.
Danzante Bay is about 35 minutes south of the Loreto airport and is marked with breathtaking views of the bay and surrounded by impressive mountains and the TPC Danzante Bay Golf Course, which has been nominated as Mexico’s best golf course 2019 by the World Golf Awards. At the heart of it all is the the oh-so-impressive Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa which was my home for the duration of my 5 day trip.
How to get to Danzante Bay at the Islands of Loreto
It’s so easy and quick by air! I flew up to LA and from there, it’s just a two hour flight south on Alaska Airlines. As of early March, Volaris started flying out of the Tijuana airport and with the CBX bridge crossing, this is a very appealing option for us San Diego folks. Right now, Volaris flies Tuesday and Saturday and of course it varies, but I price checked flights and it was only $100 round trip! Air Calafia also flies from the TJ airport Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Once you land in Loreto, it’s a 35 minute shuttle ride to the resort. Unless you choose to take the resort provided shuttle back out to see the town, you are wheels free for the rest of your vacation. Everything is within walking distance of your room. The pool, the restaurants, the trail heads, the golf course, the spa and of course … the beach!
What to do in Danzante Bay
This trip was a little bit like heaven on earth to me. It is the most spectacular setting for a healthy, fun and relaxing vacation. And we happened to be there for Wellness Week, which meant we had bonus gym, yoga and healthy cooking classes.
We didn’t have the time to do nearly all the activities offered by the resort, but we did enjoy a full schedule of amazing meals, plenty of fitness, yoga, paddle boarding, massage, hydrotherapy, whale watching and visiting the town of Loreto. Let me run through the trip and resort highlights in a little bit more detail for you…
Beach Front Yoga
I’ve done my fair share of yoga, and even outdoor yoga in beautiful So Cal settings, but this was something else. Beth from Tasty Yummies was our instructor and she had a strong but still very calming and peaceful practice. My only regret is that we didn’t get to take more of her classes!
Hiking & Trail Running
The resort is surrounded by mountains and water. There is a 5+ mile, beautifully maintained trail that circles the the bay offering outstanding views, great photo ops and a good physical challenge. I tracked it in AllTrails and you can find a full write up in the Trail Review section at Fit, Happy and Free.
This trail is a great challenge but also suitable for all levels. It is a ridge hike offering moderate inclines and declines and plenty of flat trail making it a great for trail running.
Instructor Lead Fitness Classes + Gym
There is an impressive gym at the resort with all of the equipment and indoor space anybody would need for a killer workout. We also did several beachside workouts with Rebecca which was an awesome way to leverage the beauty of the location and still get a killer workout!
Relax and Soak in the View
First thing in the morning I would make coffee and chill out on my balcony. It was the perfect time to reflect, plan the day and truly experience gratitude to the fullest extent. While the resort was at capacity during our stay, it is built in such a way that there is plenty of space, peace and quite and ample privacy.
After a busy day of exercise and activities with our group, I would retreat to my room to unwind and relax with a glass of wine from the Valle and shower up for dinner. The resort has a little market which is stocked with full of snacks and kitchen essentials, so I grabbed a bottle of local(ish) wine and it was the perfect evening companion all week long.
Now, I’m not a golfer, but it would be irresponsible for me to talk about Danzante Bay and not mention the TPC Danzante Bay Golf Course. As I mentioned, it’s been nominated as Mexicos best golf course 2019 and from just looking at it, it’s easy to tell why. This is the 17th hole, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Whale Watching Boat Tour
I wish these pictures did this boat ride justice but they just don’t. You’re going to have to take my word for it when I tell you it was MAGIC and something you must experience personally! A small boat picked us up at the bay shore of the resort and buzzed us around the islands for a few hours.
Our guide Juan was fantastic! He was optimistic we’d see whales and he was right! We saw at least 3 different whales and they were magnificent! And it didn’t stop there. We motored over to another part of the bay to a sea of dolphins feeding. It was hundreds and like nothing any of us had ever seen before.
Even without the whales and the dolphins, the boat ride is wonderful! You tour the islands and get a feel for the magnitude and history of the area. In parts, the water is that crystal clear blue out of the movies which would made for amazing snorkeling. We had kind of a chilly, grey day so we didn’t spend much time in the water.
In addition to the boat ride, the hotel has kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats for rent just on the shore of the beach. I am generally terrified of the ocean (whacky since I grew up in Santa Cruz) so I don’t do a ton of open water sports. But the bay is so calm, I was happy to jump on a paddle board and putter around for an hour. The resort also offers water aerobics almost daily in the main pool that looked like a ton of fun!
The Sabila Spa + Hydrotherapy
The Sabila Spa at the resort is something else! I was treated to a Swedish massage that was nothing short of perfect. It made me realize how unfair it is that when you’re doing burpees, 30-seconds is an eternity. And a 50-minute massage goes by in the blink of an eye.
This spa also offers a comprehensive hydrotherapy treatment which is also worthy of an entirely separate post. But the idea is to take your body through a series of hot and cold water treatments to increase blood flow to support detoxification, relaxation and deep healing.
Visit the Town of Loreto
This town is like a movie set for a quaint, Mexican village. It’s bright, clean and incredibly well maintained for its small population of just 15k.
It sits just up agains the water and offers bright colors, token shops for trinkets and souvenirs and excellent margaritas and guacamole! The resort has a shuttle which will take you there and back and allow you plenty of time to relax, shop and explore.
Relax in the Sun
Whether the pool or the beach is your jam, Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort has you covered! There is an adults only pool, kiddo pool (although I didn’t see any during our stay), and full chaise lounge chairs on the beach with umbrellas.
We visited in early March and the weather was warmer than what we had in San Diego at the time, but still got a little chilly at night. The sun would come and go, but for the most part it was low 70s and warm enough to lay in the sun mid-day.
Villa del Palmar Accommodations
This resort is fantastic! It’s spacious and luxurious and has everything you need to feel at home, but also like you’re on a pampered getaway. The rooms are spacious and have full kitchens, washer and dryer, coffee maker, a giant sit-in tub, two bathrooms and a patio that I could have lived on all week.
I actually did a full walkthrough of the room and highlights from the entire trip on my IG story an you can see all the clips here!
The Food (and Drinks!)
The resort has three main restaurant options. The Market, which is open for breakfast and lunch and is generally served buffet style and features live performances most nights. There is also the Casa Mia restaurant and the even higher end Danzante restaurant which is fine dining with a festive Mexican flair.
Because we where there for Wellness Week, Celebrity Chef David Fuerte was on site and prepared particularly health concious meals for us. I appreciated how much thought and care went into his craft. Each night he would great us to explain the menu and cooking methodology behind it.
Sadly, our meals with David were at night and I was not about to botch up the beauty of his food with poorly lit photography. You’re going to have to trust me that it was beautiful and that he used a blend of fresh, local produce and innovative ingredients to combine flavors that were truly culinary experiences worth talking about!
Danzante Bay In Summary
Oh. My. Gawd. I just loved it! I want it to be my vacation resort for years to come. It was a blend of everything I love and I feel like it was built for me ( ha ha). Clearly I’m not the only one who appreciates a healthy getaway!
The most exiting thing is that the property is just getting started. There are massive expansion plans for the community and the current resort is just the beginning. There are options to buy real estate and the model homes are just now complete for viewing.
Wellness Retreat Coming Soon!
Doesn’t this sound like fun? It truly was my dream vacation and the entire time I kept thinking that more people deserve to experience vacation like that.
- One that was breathtaking but still relaxing.
- One that was fun but not toxic.
- One that was an adventure but still feels safe.
- One that challenging and comforting all at the same time.
I’ll be working with the team at Villa del Palmar so stay tuned for details to come!
Have you been on a wellness retreat? Were did you go? What was your favorite part?